MNR Policy of Increased Yield

Source : Quebec Minister of Natural Resources

In a recent speech in the National Asembly the Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), Jacques Brassard, announced Law 136 that the ministry had embarked upon a plan with a goal of giving Quebec a policy of increased yield within the forest industry from now until the year 2003. Such a policy is undertaken for two fundamental reasons : 1-despite limitations of wood production in certain regions, the government would continue to support development in the forest industry; 2-a greater proportion of land area would be set aside as protected areas in Quebec. This policy will be the object of an extensive public consultation.

Presently, the government strategy of increased yield will endeavour to increase the production from forests which are currently under-managed to 710,000 m³ after a period of 25 years and 10.5 million m³ after 65 years. At the present time, the average annual yield from Quebec forests (both public and private) would increase from 1.31 m³ to 1.61 m³ per hectare, or an increase of 23%.

In order to achieve this production surplus, additional work on 50,000 hectares would be necessary annually : precommercial thinning (40%); restocking through natural regeneration (25%); tree planting (25%); and the use of rapid-growth trees (10%). It is essential to have clear production goals of increased yield for the most productive land. As well, on the richest sites and on sites of easy access, average to very intensive sylviculture methods using rapid growth seedlings, for example, the hybrid poplar of the hybrid larch.

The MNR has estimated that an annual investment of $65 million is necessary for this project. Taking into account anticipated government revenues (forestry fees, income taxes, taxes, etc.) from increased production from forests, the project could be self-financing and generate employment.

"Since 1986, the Quebec Forestry Regulations have allowed a sustainable yield of our forests, that is to say, a balance between what is harvested and the annual allowable cut (aac). It is an opportune time to strive for an increased yield on specified areas. Two reasons have guided this decision: the annual allowable cut has been fully met, and this therefore behooves us to create protected areas. It would be possible for Quebec to increase its annual allowable cut now and in the long-term as a result of a more intensive forest management strategy. This will also allow us to respond in a fair manner to local and regional socioeconomic development. From now until September 2002, I propose a policy targeted toward defining an increased yield, establishing production goals and creating favourables conditions for achieving the steps required", noted the Minister of Natural Resources, Jacques Brassard.

"The policy of increased yield that I will present following public consultation will outline the total value of credits to be given each year to finance the work necessary to increase the yield from our forests. I will also indicate how these credits will be shared among regions, and between the public and private forests. The criteria used for this division of credits will also be determined following consultation. This policy will welcome participation from the private sector and will allow the introduction of management programs as needed,"concluded the Minister.

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